Blizzard plan to use football clubs to help the Overwatch League expand into Europe. In an interview with Mail esports, the league’s commissioner, Nate Nanzer, said the company are “really looking at Europe as a key market” for the League’s expansion.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Overwatch League.
It’s no secret that Blizzard are planning to expand the League for season two, but with the vast majority of teams based in America, the hope is to focus on a more international client base. Nanzer says that European football clubs might be the key to expansion on this side of the Atlantic. Blizzard’s CEO Bobby Kotick recently gave a speech at the European Club Association General Assembly, a meeting of clubs from across Europe.
Nanzer says that Blizzard have had “a lot of conversations” with football clubs, calling them “among the most forward-thinking and innovative in all of sports.” The current focus is on teams in France, Germany, Spain, Italy, and Scandinavia.
Blizzard are also hoping to expand into Asia, with teams in cities like Beijing and Bangkok (currently on Shanghai and Seoul have teams in the league). The aim is to expand into “big, global cities,” which could see the League appear in Brazil.
Nine of the 12 Overwatch League teams are based in American cities. Of the three remaining teams, London Spitfire is owned by American organisation Cloud9, and Seoul Dynasty was founded by Kevin Chou, the CEO of developer Kabam, which has offices across North America. The only team in the League that doesn’t have some American involvement is the floundering Shangai Dragons, who are owned by Chinese company NetEase, the company in charge of the distribution of Blizzard games in the country.